Flyers Notes: Coaches Berube, Nolan make history

Posted: November 23, 2013

The Flyers' Craig Berube and Buffalo's Ted Nolan became the initial coaches of North American Indian ancestry to face each other in NHL history when their teams met Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

'It's huge," Nolan said earlier in the day. "I was pretty happy when I heard Craig Berube was the head coach here. It's really big in First Nation Territory back home in Canada. Word spreads quickly ... I'm sure there's going to be an extra crowd of people watching this game and it's good for the next generation of young kids to see that."

Berube, nicknamed "Chief" because of his Indian heritage, said it was "special," but "I think it's more [significant] for Teddy. He grew up in more of an environment like that than I did, I think," he said.

Hail, Hall. Trading Max Talbot to Colorado last month was made easier because the Flyers had a veteran replacement: Adam Hall, a 6-foot-2, 212-pound forward who has lately been effective on the penalty kill, in the faceoff circle, and on the fourth line.

Hall, 33, had been a healthy scratch in the two games before Talbot was dealt for Steve Downie.

Since then, he has played in every game - and his success on faceoffs has been staggering.

Before Thursday's matchup, Hall had won 41 of his last 48 faceoffs (85.4 percent) in the last six games, and had won 63.3 percent of his draws on the season.

"He's done a great job with faceoffs and penalty- killing," Berube said before Thursday's game. "Plays center or wing. Very valuable guy to have on your hockey team. He does everything properly, and works hard, blocks shots - all the dirty stuff."

Claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay in April, Hall is in his 11th NHL season. He played with Ryan Miller, Buffalo's starting goalie Thursday, from 1999 to 2002 at Michigan State.

Mason sits. Steve Mason, who has been one of the NHL's top goalies, was rested Thursday as Ray Emery got the start.

Mason entered Thursday fifth in the NHL in save percentage (.932) and sixth in goals-against average (2.12) among goalies who have played at least 15 games.

Goaltender coach Jeff Reese has made a few tweaks in his game, Mason said, adding that a big part of his turnaround is from "the sense of confidence" he has received from the organization "and the players' belief in my ability. When you have that in the back of your mind-set, it's easy to come to the rink and play with confidence."

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